Technology Trends of Finance Leaders at Nonprofit Membership Organizations

There is no doubt that technology has transformed the way we work, play, and live our lives over the last decade. Technology changes have affected every industry, and the nonprofit sector is no different. Today’s members of non-profit organizations are now seeking a technology-based membership experience which is much different than before. From registering for a conference to networking with other members in an online community, they now expect extremely personalized, digital interactions with their entire membership organization.

Check out this five-minute video…  Sage Intacct for Nonprofit Membership Organizations and Associations to learn how you can use technology to elevate financial management to a more strategic level.

It is also important to discover how nonprofit finance teams look to use technology to transform their organizations to advance the member experience. With that in mind, Sage Intacct conducted a nonprofit technology survey asking finance leaders across the nonprofit sector to provide their perspective on the industry, the challenges they face and technology engagement. 350 nonprofit finance leaders in the U.S. participated in the research study, providing insights into the changing industry, technology engagement, and how to tell the story of mission achievement.

The complete summary of these findings was recently published in the 2020 Nonprofit Technology Trends Research Report. In addition to demographics, market trends, and communication, Sage Intacct asked respondents about the technology solutions they use to support operations and growth. The most used pieces of technology are a website, financial management, and accounting software, payroll, and an online giving tool.

When asked specifically about financial management and accounting systems, 46% of respondents revealed they use QuickBooks today. That was the most prevalent answer followed by outsourcing to a third-party accounting firm, as well as Sage Intacct and Microsoft Dynamics. Sage Intacct also asked respondents to rate the functionality of financial management and accounting software based on what is most important to their organization.

But, what functionality is truly most important?

Ability to Automate Financial Reporting

Nonprofit membership organization finance leaders can’t focus on strategic decision-making if they are too busy building pivot tables. Many organizations look to more powerful financial management solutions for greater automation and efficiency of routine administrative tasks. Reducing or eliminating low-value manual data entry and data manipulation allows the finance team to focus on more strategic priorities and high-value activities that help accelerate growth.

“With Sage Intacct, we can more quickly and easily determine whether new member programs are viable or recognize when we might need to cancel a workshop that doesn’t bring in enough registrations to cover its cost.” –Melissa Lorts, Finance Director, Missouri State Teachers Association

Ability to manage multiple funds and outcomes across multiple entities

Many membership organizations support multiple entities as new chapters get launched in other locations. But at the top of the organization, nonprofit membership organization finance leaders can struggle to obtain a consolidated view across multiple locations, different funding sources, many programs, and even multiple currencies.

“We have three entities. In QuickBooks, we were only able to see one entity at a time, and we would have to exit one before we could go into another. With Sage Intacct, we have a top tier view, then we can separate it and see each separate entity as well. That saves us a lot of time and gives us greater visibility.”―Joe Stangl, CFO, Air Force Association

Without a financial system that delivers the ability to get a high-level, consolidated view of financial performance, the finance team must run reports for individual locations or programs and then spend time and effort to manually consolidate the information to perform analysis. By the time the reporting is complete, the data is stale. A cloud-based financial system can consolidate data from every part of the world, in real-time, without manual intervention.

Support real-time decision making by key stakeholders by leveraging new technologies

Stakeholders require both deep and wide visibility into revenue streams, programs, and outcomes to make the right decisions for their organization. Without real-time, consolidated financial information, stakeholders will struggle with limited insights to guide their strategic decisions for the organization as a whole.

“Because our board members aren’t financial people, they didn’t know why we were losing money. With Sage Intacct, I could point out the areas we needed to fix. Their whole attitude about the future of NATCO changed because now they had financial information, they could make decisions with. The bottom line, Sage Intacct is helping us save lives. It’s beautiful.”–Donna Dickt, Executive Director, NATCO

Ability to integrate with other systems utilizing modern cloud technology

Nonprofit membership organizations and associations are moving to cloud technology in greater numbers. Using a cloud accounting and financial management system reduces IT cost and complexity because the software is maintained and updated by the vendor and there is no need for finance to maintain a server.

“Sage Intacct’s rich reporting and best-in-class approach saves our team upwards of $135,000 in headcount annually. By seamlessly integrating our cloud ERP software with tools like Adaptive Insights for budgeting and Yooz for AP automation, we’re seeing tremendous ROI and getting back weeks of productivity every year.” –Bryan Schmidt, Controller, Unite Here Health

Looking for more success stories… check out these case studies from Sage Intacct for Nonprofit Membership Organizations all over the United States including the Air Force Association,  the AMA, North American Transplant Coordinators, and USA Fencing.

At Express Information Systems, we understand that the next few years will be critical for nonprofit membership organizations and associations as they join other industries and nonprofit sectors in the journey toward digital transformation. Finding the right nonprofit accounting and financial management system will also form a critical part of how nonprofit leaders and stakeholders will develop strategic insights to position their organizations for maximum future success.

Let us help you take the next step… connect with Express!

Leave a Reply